The Society for Quality Education (SQE) blogged about semestering in Ontario's government-run schools. It appears that this is another bad decision made by the bureaucrats at Queens Park. Analysis of results shows students do not do as well in semestered schools as in unsemestered schools. As I commented on their blog:
This is another example of why centrally-planned, government-run schools are bad for our children. Bureaucrats with little or no experience in the classroom are making decisions that will have little impact on them personally. Many years ago I saw a poster produced by the Department of Education titled “How Children Learn.” It was in the shape of a pyramid with many levels in different colours. No doubt this was used to determine the curriculum for all government-run schools in Ontario. It occurred to me that while it might be valid, it could also be flawed. It might be appropriate for some children, but not for others. Yet this would be the only model used by our schools for all of our children.
I’m sure many remember “open classrooms.” My children went to a school built on this idea. They were in a classroom with two classes and two teachers. The teachers found a way to divide the room in two, and no doubt agreed on a schedule were each would take turns talking to their students. Maybe open classrooms would work with the right teachers, but it seemed to be a handicap for my kid’s teachers.
We need schools where the principal is focused on the needs and goals of the students and parents. This can only happen if the parents have the option to take their children (and give their money) to a better school, not just another school operated by the same monopoly. Vouchers might be an improvement, but the Department of Education will likely put more and more restrictions on where the vouchers may be used, effectively regaining control of education.